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UN court to announce its verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav case today

The United Nation’s top court on Wednesday will announce its verdict on India’s petition challenging the death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan military court for alleged involvement in spying.

Five months ago, the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) reserved its verdict in the matter. The ICJ President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf will read the court’s decision in a sitting at 3 pm on Wednesday.

On March 3, 2016, Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested by Pakistan authorities in Balochistan on charges of espionage and involvement in subversive activities. India was informed about the arrest on March 25, 2016. Islamabad, however, did not offer any explanation for the delay of informing India.

In April 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death after a secret trial by a military court.

After being petitioned by India in May 2017, the ICJ directed Pakistan to “take all measures at its disposal” to ensure Jadhav was not executed pending the court’s final judgment.

India has argued Pakistan acted in an irresponsible manner and violated several international treaties and obligations, including the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, by refusing to grant consular access to Jadhav.

During hearings at the ICJ last year, India sought Jadhav’s release and the quashing of his death sentence. It also asked for Jadhav’s custody to be declared illegal.

In its arguments, Pakistan said India’s claim for relief should be dismissed or declared inadmissible. It also relied on a 2008 bilateral treaty on consular relations, which it argued overrides any obligations under the Vienna Convention. It also contended espionage and terrorism are exceptions to the Vienna Convention.

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